Ah yes Solstice is coming, 20 hours of daylight is enough to make anyone slightly crazed. I forgot what month it was and how it affects me. I wake up feeling guilty for sleeping through so much sunlight, yet it's only 7am. But the sun has been up since 4am, the rooster NEVER shuts up and I'm still tired. Sheesh you'd think after deeply examining my life and how I can get back on track I might have noticed what the date was. Oh well, we'll soon be working our way back towards normalcy.
The gardens are thriving, we've had cool weather so our kale, broccoli, cauliflower, veronica romanesca and sugar snap peas are loving it. The corn is not too thrilled with the cool weather, we're not growing it for corn though. We have it for our four year old who LOVES to grow corn.
No zucchini yet, not baby zucchini yet, no SIGN of baby zucchini yet. What do you expect from a master gardener whose greatest shame is NOT being able to grow zucchini? We do have a baby pumpkin though and a 3 baby cucumbers. 2nd picking of mustard is almost ready. The bok choy and swiss chard are almost there and I can hardly wait. Carrots are almost 3 inches tall and thinned out nicely. Anybody else feel like a murderer thinning vegetables? The chickens like it though.
I'm not growing cabbage though. I should be given my love of sauerkraut, both eating and making but I'm not. We have 2 giant cabbages in the boy's gardens but those belong to them. Oddly one seems stunted a bit and the other is thriving, someone might need a side dressing of compost to get it going.
Remember I made sauerkraut a few months ago? OK 3 moths ago. Well after fermentation I checked it to see how it was going and the cabbage was molding. I used a specialized crock from Lehman's Non-Electric and I think the exterior glazing was cracked. The exterior of the crock was covered in salt and the liquid from the cabbage/salt/pounding combo was gone. Now I had it covered quite well on top so I think it leaked slowly, evaporated and left it's salt behind. I'll try again when the price of cabbage goes down with the harvest of fresh cabbage. I love to eat local polish sausage and sauerkraut together either on a bun or in a stew. My kids actually like the sausage stew combo, your kids might too.
Sausage Sauerkraut Stew
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 pound potatoes, I used french red fingerlings but german butterball would be grand
1 pound polish sausage link, sliced in to rounds and then halves
2 cups good sauerkraut
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1/2 cup cubed mozzarella
in a medium dutch oven over high beat bring the chicken stock and water to a boil
meanwhile wash and chop potatoes to about 1 inch cubes or bite sized for kids
when the stock is boiling add the potatoes, reduce heat and cook until al dente
turn the oven on to 400˚
while the potatoes are cooking heat a frying pan over medium high heat and brown the sausage, keep cooking and stirring the sausage until the potatoes are done
as soon as the potatoes are al dente remove from the heat
scoop the browned sausages in to the potato pan
use some of the potato cooking water to deglaze the sausage pan, scraping up all the lovely crispy tasty bits of flavor
stir in the garlic and mustard
pour this back over the sausage and potatoes in the dutch oven
add the sauerkraut to the dutch oven, stir gently and return to the heat
bring to a quick boil and pop it into the oven
bake for 15 minutes
sprinkle on the cubed cheese and bake for 5 more minutes
serve with crusty bread to sop up the juices
Really if your kids turn up their noses at sauerkraut it's kinda natural it's fermented cabbage! But this dish is a winner. Both of my little boys ate the sausage and potatoes and then sauerkraut.
Peace and Love-